First meeting with Phoenix

All, there was a meeting on 21st September 2010 at Transport House in Birmingham to discuss the status of the Trust Fund. The attendees were: Oliver Thomas (Justice for Rover Workers Group), Richard Burden MP, Gemma Cartwright and Andy Cartwright (Rover Community Action Trust ), Gerard Coyne (Unite the Union), Peter Dillon (Financial Consultant to Phoenix Venture Holdings), Nigel Petrie (Chair of MG Rover Trust Fund and Non Executive Director of Phoenix Venture Holdings), Eric McDonald (MG Rover Trust Fund Trustee), Adrian Ross (Member of MG Rover Trust Fund Board)

Apologies: John Sentamu Archbishop of York (previously of Birmingham) and Prof. Dr. Carl Chinn, (both MG Rover Trust Board Trustees)

I summarise these as best I can:

1) Raised was the point that at the time of closure John Towers valued the assets transferable to the Trust Fund as worth up to £50million. It’s not known what has happened to this money. Nigel Petrie and Peter Dillon have taken the action to produce a report detailing this, which is to be communicated to the Trust Fund Trustees and ex-employees.

2) Furthermore, Nigel Petrie has also taken the action to prepare a communication to the Trustees and ex-employees, giving them an update on what has happened so far in general in relation to the Trust Fund.

3) The publicised PVH/HBOS dispute was discussed in detail. It’s been agreed that Nigel Petrie and Peter Dillon pass on discussed information to Richard Burden who will in turn approach ministers for support.

4) MG Rover Capital was discussed. Nigel Petrie and Peter Dillon reported that this was not part of the Phoenix Group companies and their instructions were not to consider it part of the Trust Fund. It is the case that actually the future of any potential monies from MG Rover Capital is still uncertain. The discussion covered the recent media coverage that the Pensions Regulator could be poised to make a claim on these assets. It was suggested that Nigel Petrie take the action to approach the Phoenix Consortium about the possibility that any funds that could be released, be made applicable to the Trust Fund.

5) Discussed was the point raised publically by Trustee Carl Chinn that the Phoenix Directors make a personal donation of £1million each to the fund. It was raised that at the time of closure up to £50million was promised for the Fund, yet over 5 years on the Fund remains empty, with many ex-workers suffering great financial hardship and are holding off from/struggling with the repayment of debts in the hope of a payout. It was pointed out that at the time of closure, it was when the Directors’ £42million remuneration was questioned during a BBC interview with John Towers, that the figures for the Trust Fund were given. It was announced that the Directors had not taken any remuneration from Phoenix Venture Holdings since the collapse of MG Rover. Nigel Petrie has taken the request for a personal donation to the Phoenix Directors.

6) It was discussed that the Trust Board had not met for a number of years and the attendees of the meeting requested the board to meet as soon as possible. Nigel Petrie has been asked to convene a meeting.

7) A proposed date of November has been given for a follow up meeting to discuss the progress of these actions. Gerard Coyne will take the action to facilitate this.

I hope the points raised best serve the concerns of those who have contacted the website. Please continue to send in your comments and I’ll post them onto the comments received page.

It was discussed that the Justice for Rover Workers website be a suitable medium to communicate such progress to interested parties.

Kind thanks again to everyone who has supported this website so far


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